Small vehicle condition breaches cost two licences

In both cases the operators had failed to advertise journeys to the general public and had failed to charge passengers separate fares

Failures to comply with the small vehicle condition have led to the revocation of restricted licences held by two north eastern based operators by Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney at a Leeds Public Inquiry.

The first case involved Sunderland-based Richard Eggleston, trading as Eggleston Limousines. He told the TC that he operated one limousine which was mainly used for school proms. Asked how he complied with the small vehicle condition, he said that he contacted the schools for help in organising the prom trips. Though the journeys were open to anyone he did not advertise them.

For Mr Eggleston, Bill Bowling, Legislation Officer of the National Limousine and Chauffeurs Association, said that it was difficult to comply with that part of the condition as they did not want 40-year-old males travelling with 16-year-old girls. He wanted to stay legal but was struggling to do so.

The TC said that he sympathised but he could not allow an operation that was not complying with the condition. Asked if separate fares were charged, Mr Eggleston said that the total payment was divided by the number of people travelling and the TC pointed out that that was not charging separate fares.

Revoking the licence, the TC said Mr Eggleston was not complying with the condition and he could not let that continue.

In the second case Harrogate based Melvyn Naylor told the TC that he had been providing transport for a number of companies using a six-seater Chrysler. He had looked at the private hire route but he would be unable to use the vehicle for anything else. In addition Harrogate Council did not licence vehicles with sliding doors.

In reply to the TC, Mr Naylor said that people contacted him when they wanted transport and he did not advertise the journeys. If there was more than one passenger he charged a set fee.

Revoking the licence, the TC said that he did not have any choice as Mr Naylor was not meeting the requirements of his licence.